By the Editor

Omicron VariantIt is now almost two years since the COVID-19 pandemic was declared. Hand sanitizer, face mask and social distancing were new, but eventually became a regular routine. Not much was known about coronavirus. No treatment drugs and no vaccines to prevent infection. However, we have now come a long way. We have not just one but many vaccines and promising treatment drugs.

Unfortunately, we seem to be playing a game of hide and seek with the virus. As soon as vaccines became available, the virus mutated producing multiple variants which are even more infectious; notorious among which are the delta and now the omicron. The world is also confronted with unequal availability and distribution in the world, which provides the virus opportunity to mutate to new variants. Another challenge is anti-vaxxers who for political, religious, or moral reasons refuse to be vaccinated.

These problems make it harder to achieve herd immunity even in countries where the national vaccination might have now reached or surpassed 70%. Evidence shows that most people who are infected and die are the non-vaccinated ones. Luckily, the available vaccines are also protective against all the known variants. It is likely that COVID-19 will linger around for a while.

The December Edition focuses on the concern about wars of different types–civil, international, small, big, short, and protracted. In the first article, the editor deals with the all-time great question of whether war is the answer to all human conflicts. The answer to the question may surprise, if not shock, some readers.

We are all familiar with World War II. Cold War II? That is a different animal altogether to a whole lot of readers. Let veteran foreign affairs weekly columnist, Jonathan Power take you on a tour of Cold War II.

In the October Edition, we published an article entitled “BLASPHEMY IS A RIGHT NOT A CRIME”, by an Abuja-based journalist, Leo Igwe, in which he advocated for religious tolerance. In this Edition, Augustine Bahemuka proposes an approach for achieving peaceful religious co-existence.

Since last year, Ethiopia, the host country of the 54-member African Union, has been experiencing a civil war. Though signs are that the war may be waning, there will be major challenges of rebuilding the country. Dr. Aklog Birara gives us his understanding of the war.

Lastly, in many countries of the world, including powerful ones like the USA, China and a whole lot of little ones, women rarely ascend to the highest political position. In places like Uganda, some people believe that a woman is not yet ready to be president. In the last article, Ocaya p’Ocure, a Sweden-based political commentator,  shares the good news of how one woman defied the odds and became the first woman Prime Minister of Sweden. This story is particularly interesting because of two reasons. First, it shows that one does not have to go to war or rig election to become a leader of a country. Second, it shows that women should not be excluded from competing for the top leadership just because of their gender.

Happy reading and happy end of the year holidays.